China and India have agreed to establish a "strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity" between them, according to a joint statement signed by premiers of the two countries in New Delhi Monday.
The statement, signed by visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said that "in the light of the development of their bilateral relations, in order to promote good neighborliness, friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation and taking into account the profound changes in the regional and international situation," Wen and Singh agreed that China-India relations have now acquired a "global and strategic character."
"The leaders of the two countries have, therefore, agreed to establish a China-India Strategic and Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity," the statement said.
"Such a partnership is based on the principles of Panchsheel, mutual respect and sensitivity for each other's concerns and aspirations, and equality; provides a sound framework for an all around and comprehensive development of bilateral relations based on mutual and equal security, development and prosperity of the two peoples; and contributes to jointly addressing global challenges and threats," the statement said
According to the statement, the two sides reviewed the friendly contacts and progress in their bilateral relations in recent years and agreed that China-India relations have entered a new stage of comprehensive development.
The statement noted that the two sides have made incremental progress in addressing outstanding issues, and they have also maintained good communication and collaboration in international and regional affairs.
Wen and Singh agreed that China and India have made satisfying progress in developing their long-term constructive and cooperative partnership, and they recalled the Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation between the two Prime Ministers on 23 June 2003 and reiterated that the Declaration provided a shared vision of bilateral relations and an agreed framework for cooperation.
The two leaders agreed that high-level exchanges between the governments, parliaments and political parties of the two countries play an important role in expanding overall bilateral cooperation, the statement said, noting they conveyed their determination to maintain and strengthen the momentum of such exchanges in future and agreed to hold regular meetings between the leaders of the two countries.
In this context, the two sides also reiterated their intention to promote regular ministerial-level exchanges and make full use of the China-India strategic dialogue and other bilateral dialogue mechanisms, the statement added.
The statement said the year of 2005 marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India, and to mark the occasion, the two countries will organize a series of commemorative activities.
A "Cultural Festival of China" is currently underway in India and that a corresponding "Cultural Festival of India" will be organized in China later in the year, the statement said, adding the two sides will also organize other cultural activities to further promote mutual awareness and deepen the friendship between the two peoples.
According to the statement, the two sides have declared 2006 as the "year of China-India friendship."
The statement said, "In order to reinforce traditional cultural links, an agreement was concluded for the construction of an Indian style Buddhist temple at Luoyang in Henan Province of China. "
Wen is paying an official visit to India from April 9 to 12 at Singh's invitation, the last leg of his four south Asian nation tour which has also taken him to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.